With several Toys R Us stores on the auction block, several national retailers have shown an interest in the embattled toy retailer’s brick-and-mortar locations. Just under 60 “qualified bids” are under consideration, CNBC reported.
In Florida, for example, Target and Aldi are considering a store located near college campuses. And Big Lots is reportedly interested in five stores, while Raymour and Flanigan is looking to bid on three locations. Other retailers interested in the locations include Ashley Furniture and Food Bazaar. Beyond retailers, real estate investment trusts (REITs) are interested in the stores: Federal Realty and Urstadt Biddle reportedly plan to bid on the same store in California.
Only a small number of the 800 U.S. Toys R Us stores are headed to auction. But, of the stores that are being auctioned off, Toys R Us debtors have until April 12 to give their approval on any sales.
The news comes as Bloomberg reported that Amazon could take over some of the Toys R Us stores, which may be soon vacant as the retailer winds down its operations. And though Amazon doesn’t want to keep the Toys R Us brand, it could use the space to display its own products.
The stores could, for example, give Alexa — and the devices it powers — a brick-and-mortar home. The voice-activated technology’s benefits are easier for consumers to see and experience in person, after all. Beyond Alexa and the Amazon Echo, the Toys R Us space could be of use to the eCommerce retailer to store groceries for delivery as well.
Still, about three years ago, Amazon considered taking over a few RadioShack locations when the retailer went bankrupt. As with Toys R Us, RadioShack locations would have been places in which to showcase the company’s hardware. In the end, Amazon’s plans to take over RadioShack locations never materialized.